I'm still reliving the incredible week of adventures with Dian Pelangi, famed Indonesian fashion designer, who was here in the DC for her US fashion debut at the DC Fashion Week Haute & Modesty Show on September 26th 2014. The fun continued with a pre-fashion show dinner on the eve of the fashion show, when we met with a group of beautiful ladies for dinner at Mama Ayesha's in DC. The group included Nisa Muhammad, founder of Areej Fashions and organizer for the DCFW show, Seema Sahin, designer behind Modern Mary, Zeena Altalib, designer of Primo Moda, Fahima Abdul, modest fashion blogger and co-stylist for the DCFW show, Salma Jordan, founder of TARB, the online bag/accessory shop which provided bags and jewelry for our show, Ieasha Prime, our extraordinary host for the evening, and incredibly talented local artist, Fatmata Koroma. Between the great food and exciting conversation, our bonds of sisterhood grew stronger as we looked forward with excitement to the big day!
The Day Arrives: Dian Pelangi's US Runway Debut
The week had flown by, and faster than I could've imagined, the show was hours away. As the crowd filled the venue, I was filled with anticipation as the room buzzed with the noise. We decided not to have the audience wait till the end of the show to see Dian's collection, although it is custom to save the most anticipated showcase for last. Dian Pelangi's line was divided into two sets; she introduced our show with half of her designs, and then the other half of her designs closed the show. Dian's team cooperated swiftly and efficiently to get models dressed and styled impeccably for each look.
Dian's collection entitled 'Miss Palembang in New York' takes inspiration from her birthplace in Indonesia, Palembang, and her first-time trip to the US to tour DC, NY and LA, a dream come true for her and her incredible team. Known as "The Rainbow Queen" Pelangi (which means 'rainbow' in her native tongue) is famous for her use of rich, vibrant colors and her unique version of the traditional handwoven fabric, songket. The intricate textiles take months to create, and carry her signature through the cohesive collection. Her jewelry, right down to the sunglasses, belts, and handbags are original designs of pure gold, and the gold shoes were custom-made Dian Pelangi designs. She created a collection that displayed both unique, ethnic influence in luxe designs as well as a distinctly urban, hip, and modern edge. Gold-plated cat-eye sunglasses, close fitting trousers, structured jackets, and plunging peplum in the introductory collection gave way to exquisite kaftans, sweeping gowns, and custom head jewelry fit for royalty in her closing collection. Exquisite fabrics, exceptional styling, and superb design execution made her collection look expensive and futuristic, but the ease of wearability and downright coolness of it all made it at once attainable and ready-to-wear. From every angle, the clothing moved with grace, creating an intriguing architecture of clothing by mixing drape and flow with structure and framing in all the right places....
And without further ado, the moment you've all been waiting fo...
Dian Pelangi Part I: The Opening
Dian Pelangi Part II: The Finale
The show was INCREDIBLE!! What a great way to show that modest fashion is beautiful, high quality, and high fashion! Dian Pelangi's trip to the US for her debut at the DCFW proves that there is a future for modest fashion in the US which is emerging brighter and more promising than ever. A designer of Dian's caliber could have shown in any city, at any venue, to any audience - but she chose the Haute and Modesty show, which speaks volumes about the show and it's current status and potential. I chatted with Dian after the show to gauge her reaction to the show and whether it met her expectations. She told me things went seamlessly, that she was 100% satisfied with her showcase, and that she is thankful to Allah that she was able to do this for her business, but also to bring 'Sirat ar-Rahim' (connecting the ties) between herself and her team from Indonesia and so many of her Muslim sisters and brothers here in the US. To me, that is the most valuable reward!
Dian is not only an extremely talented designer and businesswoman, she is also a beautiful, generous soul. I was so excited to receive a jacket from the Dian Pelangi collection as a thank you for working with her and her team that week. Look what I cheese ball I am ! I chose a purple/gold jacket with peplum - it was beautiful!
I'd like to take the time now to say how honored and privileged I am to be on the Areej Fashions team and to be accepted by the founders Nisa Muhammad and Baqiyah Adam as the team stylist for the DCFW show. Without them believing in me, I would not have been able to share in these unique experiences with modest fashion designers, stylists, and bloggers I adore so much. What a visionary Sr. Nisa is for establishing a modesty show for DCFW back in February 2013 - and my how the idea has grown! She is hard working, dedicated, smart, and caring and I look forward to doing many more big things on the Areej Fashions team inshallah!